International Day of Yoga - UPSC Notes

International Yoga Day (or just Yoga Day) is observed every year on the 21st of June. Such events and programmes play an important role in the IAS exam. UNESCO declared Yoga as an intangible cultural heritage from India. In this article, you can read all about International Yoga Day in India.

Aspirants can find information on the structure and other important details related to the IAS Exam, in the linked article.

Latest Update:

  • The International Yoga Day 2021 will be held through a virtual meet and focus on the importance of Yoga in mental and physical well being. Also, its recognition to fight social depression and anxiety caused due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Such topics are significant for the Art and Culture section of General Studies paper- 1 in the UPSC Syllabus. The Arts and Culture section can be a scoring subject. Students preparing for UPSC 2021 and other Government Exams can find this article useful.

Also, refer to the links below for exam preparation:

International Yoga Day

International Yoga Day was declared by the UN General Assembly on 11th December 2014. Yoga is a mental, physical and spiritual discipline or practice that has its origins in India. 

  • The day of 21st June was suggested by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the UN because it is the longest day of the year. 
  • The day also has special relevance in several different parts of the globe. The draft resolution was introduced in the General Assembly by India’s Permanent Representative.
  • The draft received support from 177 members and they adopted the text without a vote.
  • Many international leaders supported this initiative. 
  • The resolution was co-sponsored by 175 countries, which is the highest number of co-sponsors for a UN General Assembly resolution of such a type.
  • Indian diplomatic missions, the Ministry of External Affairs, and the Prime Minister of India himself have ramped up their social media diplomacy on yoga. Yoga is seen as one of the best examples of soft power.

Also, read UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages in India.

International Yoga Day 2021

This year, the theme for International Yoga Day is “Yoga for well-being” and focuses on the importance of Yoga not just for physical well being but also for mental health.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend the lives and livelihoods of people globally. With restrictions implied in various parts of the world, the pandemic has exacerbated psychological suffering and mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.   

A virtual event is to be held conducted on June 21, 2021, on the occasion of the 7th annual International Yoga Day and broadcasted on the UNWebTV. 

Yoga is a powerful tool to deal with the stress of uncertainty and isolation, as well as to maintain physical well-being. The World Health Organisation (WHO) mentions yoga as a means to improve health in its Global action plan on physical activity 2018–2030: more active people for a healthier world.

UPSC 2021


The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of the body and the consciousness.

  • It cultivates different ways of maintaining a stable attitude in everyday life and enhances skills for different activities.
  • It is said that it is a union of body and mind. 
  • Its origins can be traced back to almost 5000 years.
  • A number of seals and fossil remains of the Indus Saraswati Valley civilization having Yogic motives and figures performing Yoga Sadhana suggest the presence of Yoga in ancient India.
  • While Yoga finds a mention in the Rig-Veda, it became more prominent as hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century.
  • Yoga includes Asanas, Mudras, Kriyas, Shaktakarmas and Meditation.

Know the background, origin and history of Yoga as a cultural export of India at the linked article.

Get detailed NCERT notes in Indian Art and Culture at the linked article and prepare for the upcoming examination.

Comprehensive News Analysis

Frequently Asked Questions on International Yoga Day

Q 1. What is the theme for International Yoga Day 2021?

Ans. The theme for International Yoga Day 2021 is “Yoga for well-being”.

Q 2. When is the International Yoga Day celebrated?

Ans. The International Yoga Day is celebrated every year on June 21.

Q 3. Why is the International Yoga Day celebrated?

Ans. The International Yoga Day was an initiative taken to spread awareness about the importance of Yoga and its positive impact on the health of the people.

Q 4. Who proposed International Yoga Day?

Ans. In India, the International Yoga Day was proposed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 69th session of the General Assembly.

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